Vietnam general warns of potential "arms race" in East Sea at Shangri-la security talks

By Toan Dao   June 5, 2016 | 10:45 am GMT+7

Vietnam's Vice Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh told Asia’s largest annual security forum in Shangri-la, Singapore, on Sunday that there have been activities of unilateralism and coercion in Vietnam’s East Sea recently.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh. Photo by VnExpress/Nhat Quang

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh. Photo by VnExpress/Nhat Quang

Addressing the Shangri-la Dialogue today, Vinh said there exist between Vietnam, China and some other ASEAN claimants differences and disputes in Vietnam’s East Sea. The situation has recently escalated on a worrying trend that goes beyond their differences in words, he said. Unilateralism and coercion have changed the status quo on the ground, and the militarization of occupied areas has led to responses from both within and outside the region, according to the general.

“If these developments are not addressed properly, they will lead to arms races, rivalry and unpredictable and disastrous consequences,” he told the audience at the fourth session “The Challenges of Conflict Resolution” which was also attended by Sun Jianguo, Deputy Chief of China's Joint Staff Department under the Central Military Commission.

At least 20 defense ministers, including U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, are attending the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's largest annual security forum. This year, it is taking place in Singapore from June 3 to 5.

 
 
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